Tomorrow is the Big Game, when my beloved Buckeyes battle that Team From Up North.

And though I’m mentioning it here, I don’t really care this year. (Hush, you who would take away my diploma!) Wait, let me clarify: I want the Buckeyes to win. (I always want the Buckeyes to win!) I just don’t really have any energy allocated for the cheering and paying attention and caring part of the bargain. (Again I say, hush, you who would call me a blasphemer!)

I couldn’t resist though, typing in “football” and seeing what would come up over at Poetry Foundation. Though there’s a major holiday next week – one well worth blogging about – and I found a poem about that last week and had it all tucked away ready to share, I just couldn’t resist, husband dressed as he is in his scarlet and gray, ready to go to work and all.

The poem I’m sharing this week isn’t about football, at least not on the surface. It’s about Small Town America. It rang so true to me that I think I may have to print it out. It evoked so much in my experience as a small town girl and it made me smile to think about all the driving through small towns that I do in any given day or week or month. So, without further ado…

Driving Through

by Mark Vinz

This could be the town you’re from,
marked only by what it’s near.
The gas station man speaks of weather
and the high school football team
just as you knew he would—
kind to strangers, happy to live here.

Tell yourself it doesn’t matter now,
you’re only driving through.
Past the sagging, empty porches
locked up tight to travelers’ stares,
toward the great dark of the fields,
your headlights startle a flock of
old love letters—still undelivered,
enroute for years.

Reprinted from “Red River Blues,” published by College of the Mainland, Texas City, TX, 1977, by permission of the author. Copyright © 1977 by Mark Vinz, whose most recent book is “Long Distance,” Midwestern Writers Publishing House, 2005.

Have I mentioned my burgeoning love affair with poetry? It’s all because of a certain aunt, Karen, and the enticing finds over at Poetry Foundation, really. And, oh! what a delicious love affair it is! There’s fuel for that fire at this week’s Poetry Friday round-up, hosted by Holly Cupola.